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Corrine and Matt — a love story

Profile: Couple’s love earns them a dream wedding

Posted: February 12, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: February 12, 2012 2:00 a.m.

A group of wedding vendors have joined together to donate a dream wedding to Corrine Pilarski and Matt Lussier. Back row, standing from left: Robert Whitcomb, David Ross, Rusty Parr, Matt Mitchell, Charmaine Wojciechowski, Jill Cox, and Dan Arriaga. Holly Russo, Alice Goetschel. Seated from left, Adriana Farrell, Claire Cullen Middleton, Barbar...

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Corrine Pilarski and Matt Lussier first met in their freshman year of high school.

They became fast friends after joining the same youth group at Placerita Baptist Church.

“We were best friends all through high school,” Pilarski said. “He asked me out in our senior year of high school.”

The two were young, in love and the future looked bright.

Then, last year, Pilarski started having joint pain. For two months, she started throwing up and have vision blackouts, as well.

“It was so weird; it was like could predict the weather. I knew when it was going to rain; my joints started hurting more,” she said.

“Then, I started passing out. When I couldn’t move my neck, I knew I had a problem.”

A trip to the Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital emergency room revealed that Pilarski had hydrocephalus — fluid in her brain.

Surgery was performed to reduce the swelling, but a mass discovered in her brain was in such a dangerous location doctors could not perform a biopsy.

Lussier never wavered in his devotion to Pilarski.

“After this mass was discovered, he was given the option to leave,” Pilarski said. “Instead, he proposed.”

Lussier said leaving was never an option.

“That never crossed my mind,” he said. “It was more about how do we both fight this. I think this solidified our relationship.”

Lussier proposed to Pilarski in a hospital room at Henry Mayo.

“I had come out of ICU, and he made sure I had clean sheets on the bed and my mother helped me take a shower,” Pilarski said.

Pilarski had half her hair shaved from her head and stitches from the surgery ran across her bare scalp.

Lussier sat on the bed and told Pilarski, “You are so beautiful. You always will be beautiful to me. You are my best friend. Will you marry me?”

He presented Pilarski with a basket of sparkling cider, roses and a ring he had purchased for the occasion.

“It’s a peridot, a lime green gem, which makes it different and unique,” Pilarski said.

Despite Pilarski’s uncertain future the couple, both 21, began to plan a July wedding.

Without a biopsy, the mass in Pilarski’s brain has been diagnosed as a low-grade form of cancer, but exactly what the mass is can’t be determined. Since her surgery in May, the mass has  grown little, if at all.

She is being treated by doctors in the Santa Clarita Valley and at UCLA Oncology.

“I have a great team of doctors,” she said.

Suzi Pilarski, Corinne’s mother, said when some members of Santa Clarita Wedding and Event Professionals heard Corrine’s story, they decided to donate some of their services.

Corrine is the granddaughter of Stella Pilarksi, one of the founding members of the organization.

Suzi Pilarski said Stonefire Grille will give the couple half off the food for the wedding reception.

“This has been such a huge blessing for us,” Suzi said. “We couldn’t afford to have this kind of wedding for her.”

Vendors who are donating their services said the couple’s touching story influenced them to reach out to help Corrine and Matt.

“Her story touched me, and I always wanted to help out someone in need. Corrine is a young girl with dreams. She is positive and
lives life to the fullest,” said Sandra Lopez of J&M Entertainment. “Why not help a young couple who have big dreams together? Always help people without judging.”

Carol Cadoo, director of operations for Gardens of Paradise, said they are donating the space for the wedding to give back to the community.

“It is all about people and contributing and making a difference,” she said. “As a wedding planner for 30 years, I still believe in the possibility of happily ever after.”

For Holly Russo of Floral Preservation by Picture This, Corrine’s story touched her in a personal way.

“I had a brain tumor in 1994, and I knew she would have a tough road ahead of her, so I wanted to do what I could to help,” Russo said.

“We are overwhelmed and super grateful to the wedding vendors who are giving us the wedding of our dreams,” Corrine Pilarksi said. “We know the economy is tough and for them to do this for us is just huge.”

The groom-elect said he appreciates all that the Santa Clarita Wedding and Event Professionals are doing for the couple.

“We’re just excited, we don’t take it for granted, we feel blessed,” he said.

Suzi Pilarksi said she was impressed with Lussier’s commitment to her daughter.

“He said, ‘We’ve done the for better or worse part even before we’re married,’” she said. “He has turned what is hopefully the worst experience in her life into something that will be the most memorable.”

Corinne was born at Henry Mayo, and has lived in the SCV her entire life.

She attended Santa Clarita Elementary School, Placerita Junior High School and  is a graduate of Saugus High School.

Corrine has one more class before she graduates with an associate’s degree in English from College of the Canyons.  She hopes to become a writer of young adult romance.

Lussier will graduate from college in May from University of California, San Diego. He plans to go to medical school and specialize in orthopedic medicine. After the couple are married, they plan to live in San Diego.

“I’m just head over heels for this man,” he said. “Anyone who is 21 and who has his whole life ahead of him and to have stuck by my side. ... It’s incredible.”

Lussier said Corrine’s giving spirit is her most attractive feature.

“She is always looking at how she can help other people,” he said. “Her needs and wants always take a back seat to others. She’s awesome.”

For more information about the Santa Clarita Wedding and Event Professionals, visit


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